segunda-feira, 7 de maio de 2012
''THE PARTY IS OVER''
Art-fair organisers and art dealers are struggling to make their businesses sustainable, writes Faith-Ann Young. The industry has entered an existential moment: what it will take to survive?
The period between 2002 to 2008 can be described as "the era of the art fair". As the economy rebounded from its dip in 2001, fairs began popping up on the international calendar as playgrounds for the wealthy and creative. Investment banks such as UBS and luxury brands such as Krug and Gucci joined the frenzy, sponsoring gift bags and open-bar events amid the million-dollar price-tags. Travel agents offered special worldwide packages, enabling easy fair-hopping from September through December each year.
But as the financial crisis clouds market predictions in 2009, art-fair organisers and art dealers are struggling to make their businesses sustainable. The industry has entered an existential moment: everyone is asking themselves what will it take to survive in this new, more competitive market.
Robert Curcio, a member of the founding team of Scope Art Fair who now works on his own company Curcio Projects, believes this decline was inevitable. "There are too many fairs, too many things to go to," he explained to me. "Even in 2007, collectors were beginning to skip fairs. There has been this general fatigue for some time now, regardless of the economy."
At London's Frieze Art Fair in October 2008, dealers were already nervous and buyers hesitant. Then New York's winter auction results were disappointing. Christie's contemporary art sales totalled $113.6m, half the pre-sale estimate of $227m...........